life for clients, advisors, support staff and
What is the biggest challenge
facing you today, and what is the
Our business has always benefitted from
strong regulation. It’s good because it can
help create a better result for clients and
makes us better as advisors. But since
the financial crisis, the pace of inquiries
from regulators and the environment for
new regulations has seemed to continue
to increase, and even after 10 years it
Now. more regulators are involved than
ever. With so much regulatory change, it
increases the need to educate the client
and provide transparency around everything that we do.
A mentor of mine used to say that better than 99.9% of people in our industry
are high-quality professionals with nothing but clients’ best interest in mind.
But as with any industry or profession,
a few bad apples take away the benefit of
the doubt from everyone else. Too often
regulations are formed with the lowest
common denominator as the norm, and
that isn’t realistic.
What is the biggest issue
confronting the wealth-
management field today, and how
should it be addressed?
Fiduciary responsibility as it relates to
the Department of Labor (DOL) rule
is certainly an issue that has created
a huge amount of interest. We absolutely feel that first and foremost our
FAs have always acted in their clients’
But it makes sense to bring clarity
to the issue, and UBS is supportive of a
single best interest standard not just for
retirement accounts but for the industry.
Again, to add clarity and accountability,
UBS believes the SEC should create that
standard and give firms a realistic time
frame to implement it.
This is the best way to preserve client choice and provide clarity and consistency. How can we execute on that
in this evolving environment? It goes
back to one of my mantras. We will
continue to do the right thing for our
clients and comply with regulations as
they are enacted.
What challenges do you face in
I have faced a lot challenges over the
course of my career. but the individual
ones don’t measure up to the responsibilities of being a good and consistent
leader. My biggest challenge as a senior
field leader happens every day when I
have to make good decisions that successfully balance the interest of clients,
employees, shareholders and regulators.
It is a complex mix of sometimes competing needs and requirements, but it’s
Would you like to share anything
I guess it goes back to my optimism.
This is a great business to be in and the
future is bright. What we do as financial
advisors — helping clients make some of
their most important life choices, realize
their dreams and guide their decisions —
is always going to be in need.
And the higher that you go up the
wealth spectrum, the more people want
to interact with a human being to get that
advice and personal knowledge. They
want an advisor that knows them intimately and can help them grapple with
their full financial picture.
No robot or program will ever replace
what’s in our heads and our hearts. There
will always be a place for the high quality
FAVORITE INDOOR ACTIVITY:
I travel a lot, so Friday night
family dinner is a treat and a nonnegotiable for me.
FAVORITE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY:
FAVORITE FORM OF EXERCISE:
Typical workout, weights and cardio
FAVORI TE TV SHOW: “60 Minutes”
FAVORI TE WEEKEND ACTIVIT Y:
Hike with the family (including
FAVORI TE VACATION SPOT:
Hawaii, the Big Island
FAMILY DETAILS: Married for 21
years, two daughters ( 15 and 18) and
a son ( 13); five “other children” with
four legs (two dogs and three cats)
CHARITABLE FOCUS: Because
of the loss of family and friends
to cancer, I support St. Jude
Children’s Research, American
Cancer Society and Susan G.
Komen for the Cure.
with LANE STRUMLAUF